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The Honda Civic Natural Gas won the 2012 Green Car of the Year award at the L.A. Auto Show Thursday. The car is the cleanest-running internal combustion vehicle certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with a 48 MPGe highway fuel economy rating.

"There is no other vehicle like the Civic Natural Gas on American highways, and this recognition has been a long time coming for Honda," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal, which issues the annual award. "The new-generation Civic Natural Gas features greater fuel efficiency, a handsome and roomier new design and tailpipe emissions levels untouchable by any other internal combustion production vehicle."

According to the Green Car Journal, natural gas is a clean fuel that is almost exclusively domestically sourced and is typically priced 30% less than gasoline. It also fast fills in about five minutes at the fueling stations that offer natural gas dispensers.

PHOTOS: The vehicles

The Civic Natural Gas is the only natural gas passenger vehicle to be mass produced. First introduced as a fleet vehicle in 1998, the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas is in its fifth generation. Priced at $26,155, it's available at 200 Honda dealers in 36 states.

The six-judge panel on the Green Car of the Year jury selected the Civic Natural Gas from a field of five contenders, including the Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius V and Volkswagen Passat TDI. Jury members included Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of the Ocean Futures Society, among others.

"This year's Green Car of the Year finalists underscore that there is no single solution to our transportation challenges," Cogan said. "Virtually every automotive manufacturer is exploring green technology in several forms."

Source: LA Times
 

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so, this means loads of stars will get out their crappy prius and step into a natral gas civic? i do hope so :D.
 

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An update about the Honda Civic natural gas

The Japanese carmaker said that it will offer customers purchasing a new 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle at participating dealers from now until January 2, 2013, a debit card pre-loaded with $3,000 worth of fuel. As always, there's some small print including that the card can only be used at Clean Energy CNG fueling stations around the country to purchase fuel. So, for those looking for ways to fight against the recent rise in gas prices might want to consider a 2012 Honda Civic, the Natural Gas model to be more specific. Any thoughts?
 

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Apart from the fact it's not offered in this country CNG is a bit of a bugger to work with - the compression properties mean your tank is either tiny or massively heavy in order to compensate for the low boiling point meaning range is compromised (much like running a straight hydrogen powered car).

Personally I'd give it a miss and stick to LPG, yeah it's a bit on the short side for distance as well but nothing like as bad. I suppose if you're wanting a city car either would be fine but the Civic just doesn't fall into that bracket IMO. Kei class is where it's at for that shiz.
 
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